Glynfest is an exciting, new, free music festival that took place over the first weekend of November in Colwyn Bay.
The idea was born from a GWIL (Glyn Ward Invest Local) community fun day in 2017, which included live music that proved to be a big hit for local people. Glynfest followed this success as a fitting way to celebrate and strengthen the prized community spirit that shone through in GWIL’s area consultation results. It also enabled GWIL to present the consultation’s conclusions and get the community’s feedback.
Glynfest celebrated Colwyn Bay’s deep-rooted arts and music culture through showcasing a host of local talent, building a sense of community pride and recalling the area’s past as a musical hub.
“There was a time when Colwyn Bay, as a seaside holiday centre, pulled way above its weight as a centre for popular music,” said Chris Hemmmings, a member of GWIL’s steering group. “World famous musicians once played in the old Victoria Pier pavilion. Glynfest sought to revitalise the heart and soul of the area, and encourage a new dynamic.”
With the pier long since demolished, the 39 local bands and solo artists – ranging from folk to rock to blues – were hosted by Theatre Colwyn, St Paul’s Institute and the small, atmospheric Dewi Sant church.
Highlights for Chris Hemmings included the ‘bendigedig’ alternative folk-pop trio Gogs, ‘quirky’ singer-songwriter Lost Like Alice, ‘soulful’ Ameto and ‘sublime and sultry’ Mike and Rosa.
Glynfest drew in a great crowd and their voting over the weekend showed support for the themes GWIL are focusing on going forward. Chris Hemmings said Glynfest 2018 may well be the first of many: “Hopefully the idea will now develop traction and grow year on year.”